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Pucker Up! | Kiko Milano Intensely Lavish Lipstick.

I have recently been acquainted with Kiko Milano, an Italian cosmetics brand which Mum says is currently all the rage in London. She's a fan of the brand herself - their lipsticks, in particular - and she brought home a few for me to try.

I immediately fell in love with this - the Intensely Lavish Lipstick, which was actually launched last year as part of the limited edition Rebel Romantic Collection.
Meet Kiko Milano. :)
I was smitten from the packaging alone. And who wouldn't be? The gold lettering on the purple box gives off a very luxurious vibe, while the sleek and glossy rose gold bullet is nothing short of elegant.
Lovely, just lovely.
Even the lipstick itself has tiny embossed prints on the side which makes it lovelier than it already is.
Details on the lipstick.
There are six shades in the Intensely Lavish range, and this one is shade #3 - otherwise known as Luscious Red. It's a solid red color that would suit just about any skintone.
Shade number on the top flap, and at the bottom of the bullet.
Kiko Milano describes their Intensely Lavish lipsticks as 'creamy, with intense and bright colour', which is exactly what it is. This lipstick has amazing color pay-off, intense even with just one swipe.
Intensely Lavish Lipstick in 03 Luscious Red.
It has a very smooth and creamy formula that glides on effortlessly, and a buttery texture that makes it very comfortable to wear. This shade in particular has a beautiful satin finish, with a bit of shine that makes the lips look healthy and naturally plump.
One swipe on the left, two on the right.
It also has impressive staying power as the color stays pretty much intact for five hours at the most. The best part? This lipstick retails for just £6.90, around Php 468 or $10 when converted.
Kiko Milano Intensely Lavish Lipstick in 03 Luscious Red.
What I love:

- Elegant packaging.
- The bullet has a magnetic closure which shuts the cap tight.
- Easy to apply.
- Creamy, lightweight formula.
- Intense color pay-off.
- Impressive wear-time.
- Affordable price.

What you might not like:
- Not available in the Philippines. 
And yes, I finally got a hair cut! :)
I do hope Kiko Milano will find its way to the Philippine market soon. I bet it'll be selling like hotcakes, much like it did in Europe and the US.


Force of Will Card Games | An Exciting Card Game for All.

One of the good things about card games is that you will not need anyone else to play with to enjoy a great game. There are lots of popular card games nowadays, which caters to a variety of game players. One of the famous games today is Force of Will, which is extremely popular among kids and younger teens.
Force of Will.
What is Force of Will?
Force of Will is a strategic and exciting card game, which was developed in Japan. Today, it has become a globally-renowned game, with players all around Canada, USA, and a few other countries across the globe. The popularity of this game is mainly attributed to its amazing work on the cards as well as the complicated system of the game.

How does it work?
In this game, each player has a ruler which serves as its avatar, and by means of the “Force of Will”, the user will summon the “Resonator” to battle each other.

New players begin the game with starter decks such as“The Machine Lord” and the “Machina” deck. These types of decks are pre-built, with content that involve a fast rule guide, a rulebook, and a play sheet. It also comes with 51 cards that you can utilize throughout the game. These starter decks are accessible in the force of will singles collection.

Besides the starter packs, promo cards are also available, though some of these are quite difficult to find. Booster boxes and booster packs of this card game are much accessible, along with every booster pack that contains 10 random cards. These cards can give extra powers to your existing Force of Will Cards.

Accessories for this card game include a wide range of play mats with stunning artwork. These mats measure around 23 ¼ inches x 13 1.4 inches. Also available are the Official Card Back Sleeves to keep your cards crisp and well-protected. These sleeves usually come in packs of 50. Storage boxes, which keep the cards in mint condition, are also available. The Ultra Pro Platinum Premium Flip Box, for instance, has the ability to hold around 100 collectible cars into the protector sleeves and is constructed from red matte leatherette.

Cardfight Vanguard Clans.

There are lots of games available on the internet nowadays. All of them have different features and game mechanics but most of them claim to create entertainment and promote the value of game experience. Some games have a high standard difficulty level wherein you have to struggle in the initial level to move on to the next. Also, there are games that are composed of clans. The battle is between clans, each composed by a number of players. Cardfight Vanguard is one of the best clan battle game in the market today.

You will have the chance to fight with your favorite clans using your vanguard cards. Use the card to overcome the fight in the clan. Through your chosen vanguard cards, you can now have a wonderful and exciting virtual gaming experience. Have the best deck and compete in the clan. Cardfight Vanguard can be played on sites. This game is played on generic virtual tabletop, through simulations wherein the player of the game moves the images of cards on the surface.
Cardfight Vanguard.
There are many types of vanguard cards to choose from. You can visit the sites' deck section to choose a deck that you like. Just click on the “play online” link to access the game room. Once there, you can now play Cardfight Vanguard Clans. You may also opt to build your own deck with cards of your choice.

There are many powerful vanguard cards offered. The choice to add them to your deck is entirely yours. Vanguard cards have different levels of power, so the price varies, depending on the power that your card has. Here are some of the Cardfight Vanguard Clans that you can find in the game:

- United Sanctuary: royal paladin, oracle think tank, shadow paladin, gold paladin.
- Dragon Empire: kagero, tachikaze, mirakumo, narukami.
- Zoo: megacolony, neo nectar.
- Dark Zone: dark irregulars, spike brothers, palemoon.
- Megallanica: granblue, Bermuda triangle aqua force.
- Star Gate: nova grappler, dimension police.

You can maximize the level of your online game experience when you go to battle with the vanguard clan that you choose. Use their power and special ability to make the fight even more exciting. Choose your vanguard wisely for the best gaming experience.


Foodie Goodie | Kuya J Restaurant.

Mum had been craving for halo-halo ever since she arrived two weeks ago. All the more after seeing Jericho Rosales' halo-halo commercial on TV. And so last Saturday, we went all the way to SM Lipa to dine at Kuya J's - the restaurant which Jericho Rosales endorses - and give their halo-halo a try.
Kuya J's picture menu.
A casual dining restaurant, Kuya J offers traditional Filipino dishes in a setting that's cozy and homey, yet posh at the same time. Just look at the interiors - very minimalist and quite pleasing to the eye, unlike some of the traditional Filipino restaurants that I have been to. Our group of eight (six adults and two kids) were given seats at the far end of the restaurant, near the door which leads to the al fresco dining area.
Inside Kuya J's Restaurant.
Their menu is pretty impressive, too. Lots of food choices from appetizers to sizzlers, soups and vegetables, rice and noodles, and drinks and desserts.
Kuya J's House Specialties.
Before placing our order, we asked the waitstaff if their dishes are good for sharing. He said yes, and that each dish can serve 4-5 persons. We figured it would be alright to just order one serving of each of the following dishes since the six of us were supposed to be on a diet. Haha!
Kuya J's Crispy Wings, Php 240.
Kuya J's Crispy Wings - crispy chicken wings cooked in savory sesame sauce and served with a garlic mayo dip. I'm not sure how three pieces of chicken wings can serve five, let alone four people. What is this, manna from heaven?! But to be fair with Kuya J, these wings were very flavorful. My son loved it so much he ate it with rice.
Camaron Rebosado, Php 285.
Camaron Rebosado - deep-fried battered shrimp served with sweet and sour dipping sauce. This dish was just as good - the batter was light and crunchy, the shrimp meaty and well-cooked.
Bam-i, Php 185.
Bam-i - vermicelli and egg noodles mixed with pork belly strips, squid balls, shrimp, squid, and fresh greens. It's your typical pancit, good enough for my grandmother's liking.
Kare-kare, Php 399. 
Kare-kare - beef and oxtail stew in a peanut-based sauce. The flavorful sauce and the fork-tender meat did not disappoint, but as usual, the serving was a little less than what we expected. We ordered two additional servings of the kare-kare and had to wait for another fifteen minutes for it.
Kuya J's Bulalo, Php 485.
Kuya J's Bulalo - beef and bone marrow slow-cooked with secret spices and served with corn and vegetables. Not a fan of bulalo, especially in this kind of weather, but my Mum and grandmother enjoyed this best-seller from Kuya J. I reckon the soup was pretty good as my son and my niece had second helpings.
Crispy Dinuguan, Php 195.
Crispy Dinuguan - deep-fried pork belly in rich blood sauce. I was expecting this dish to be like Kanin Club's Crispy Dinuguan with the pork chunks mixed into the rich and creamy sauce. But alas, Kuya J's looked nothing like it. The serving is a tad smaller, too.
Garlic Rice Platter, Php 140.
We ordered two servings of the Garlic Rice Platter thinking that it would be enough for all of us. Had we known that one platter isn't even enough for the kids to share, we could have just ordered eight cups of Garlic Rice. Or the Unlimited Rice at Php 60 each, but that would be bad for our diet. 
Tablea Coffee Flan, Php 85.
Thankfully, the desserts exceeded our expectations. The Tablea Coffee Flan, made with Batangas tablea, is divine! It's literally bittersweet as the subtle bitter flavor of the tablea gives a nice contrast to the creaminess of the leche flan.
Kuya J's Halo Halo Espesyal, Php 99.
Finally, the Halo Halo Espesyal, the main purpose of this dining trip. It was everything Jericho Rosales said in his commercial - ice made with carabao's milk, which makes the halo-halo extra creamy without being overly sweet. Best of all, this halo-halo doesn't scrimp on ingredients. Definitely worth the money!
Waiting to be served.
Our first dining experience at Kuya J's isn't exactly exceptional, as we were disappointed at how small the servings were vis-a-vis the price. Plus the waitstaff who tended to us was seemingly exasperated because we kept on adding orders halfway through the meal. That could have not have been the case had we known that their food servings were good for just two or three people. But they do serve good food and yummy halo-halo which I guess makes it worth the trouble.

Kuya J Restaurant 
2nd Floor, SM City Lipa
Lipa, Batangas


Sneak Peek | Missha x Line Friends vs. The Face Shop x Kakao Friends!

Themed makeup collections are all the rage in Korea these days!

Case in point, these newest product offerings from Missha and The Face Shop, two of the most popular Korean cosmetic brands. Coincidentally, both brands tied up with two world-renowned and highly-used mobile messaging services - Line and Kakao Talk, respectively.
Missha vs. The Face Shop! :)
Let's take a closer look at what these collaborations have in store.
More makeup goodness after the jump!


How to Cope with Losing Someone You Love.

Losing someone you love is an event that most of us will likely encounter and experience once or thrice our lifetime. Life is finite and the time we have with our loved ones is something that we have no control over.  So for most of us, when we lose someone (or even something) who we care deeply about is very painful and it takes us a lot longer to recuperate from the emotions swirling in our hearts and minds.

For emotionally strong people, they may be able to cope in a few months time but even so it is still a difficult experience to endure alone. Having a person to help you with coping from this ordeal is also very helpful because aside from the difficult emotions and sadness that we are experiencing, the loss of a loved one also brings forth legal matters that needs to be taken care of, just like in cases where there’s a last will and testament involved. In this kind of situation, someone should be able to give you the right advice and best choice on how to move forward, and one that you can consider is a probate lawyer. Probate lawyers are easy to find, there are Sydney probate, in Melbourne, Brisbane and even in other cities like New York and London that will be able to help you with that.
Photo credit: Expert Beacon.
Though, everyone handles themselves differently, but there comes a point wherein you also have to heal yourself. Here are some things you need to understand when you are trying to deal with the loss of a loved one.

1. In some cases, there are people who will deny themselves a chance to just let go of their emotion. All the pent up sadness, frustration or even anger is toxic when it builds up inside of you. There are times even when you cannot even comprehend what you are feeling because one emotion comes after another. But you need to accept this because it’s okay. This is only normal. You need to allow these feelings because it can be quite harmful for your emotional well-being if you keep on trying to control all of them at once.

2. A support system is beneficial because these people, either a relative or a close friend, can give you the emotional support and stability you need in overcoming this event in your life. You will need them even when you say otherwise and wish to be left alone.

3. As mentioned before, you will be barraged with emotions and you may be wondering why you are taking longer than others to recover. But don’t worry yourself over much of it, because the grieving process is something that we do individually. It’s a personal route that we each do differently and it all depends on our behaviour, our personality, and our coping mechanism.

4. Healing is a gradual thing. Healing from the loss of a loved one cannot be hurried or even forced by anyone, yourself included. It’s going to take time, but that’s only natural. No major wound ever heals quickly in over a day. Whatever your process of healing is, it is important to remind yourself to be patient because there is no normal timetable for recovering from losing someone you love.

Moving on can be extremely difficult but no matter what happens from here on, be good and kind to yourself and to those people who support you, and always try to be stronger each day.


Sneak Peek | Beyond x Alice in Wonderland Collection Season 2!

In my previous blog post, I gave you a glimpse of the Alice in Wonderland collection from Korean cosmetics brand Beyond. The limited edition collection was a big hit last year, and now the brand just outdid itself by launching a second edition of the very popular Alice in Wonderland collection!

Aptly named 'Alice in Blooming', this season's collection has a more feminine vibe with vibrant hues and floral prints. The products are practically screaming 'Spring is here'!
Beyond x Alice in Wonderland Season 2!
Let's go down the rabbit hole and take a look at what's in store!
Sneak peek after the jump! :)


Pucker Up! | Beyond Alice in Glow Oil Tint.

Prior to my trip to Myeongdong, I had no idea Beyond Cosmetics launched a makeup collaboration with Disney. I was not aware either that it was a makeup line dedicated to Alice in Wonderland, one of my favorite childhood novels. And so I had the surprise of my life when I entered the Beyond shop and saw the complete Alice in Wonderland makeup line on display.
Alice in Wonderland! :)
I was so happy with my discovery, I had to restrain myself from shrieking AND buying everything from the collection. Haha! I settled with the Cheek Color, which I gave to my sister (who's also a huge Alice fan), and the Oil Tints, which I also shared with her.
Alice in Glow Oil Tints.
The Oil Tints are contained in a cardboard box with an illustration of The Knave of Hearts, one of the characters from the novel. The same illustration appear on the bottles, each containing 4.5 grams of lip tint.
The back of the box...
The bottles are made of sturdy plastic, and come with an easy-to-use doe foot applicator. The applicator has a hole in the middle, similar to the ones from YSL and the Frozen Magic Glam Tints by Peripera.
And the side panel. Yes to cruelty-free brands like Beyond!
There are five different shades of the Alice in Glow Oil Tints, and I bought shades #04 (Burgundy) and #05 (Violet). I chose them as per recommendation of the store attendant, who claimed that these were the most popular shades in the collection.
Shade reference on the top of the box.
#04 Burgundy is more of a cherry pink shade, while #05 Violet is a sheer shade of lilac. The deep blue color on the applicator made me think that #05 Violet would be the darker shade among the two, but when swatched, it turned out otherwise.
Shade number indicated on the bottom of the bottle.
The tints have an oil-based formula, and contain Royal Black Tea which moisturizes the lips and improves its elasticity. I love that the tints feel very smooth and moisturizing on the lips, and do not feel heavy or sticky despite the formulation. They smell quite nice, too - fruity, yet very subtle.
#04 Burgundy on the left, #05 Violet on the right.
When applied, the tints appear to have very little color - almost clear, actually. But the color starts to pop after a few minutes, and tends to intensify if you reapply after a few hours.
Swatched - #04 Burgundy on the left, #05 Violet on the right.
Wear-time is pretty decent, around 3-4 hours before the shine fades off and wears away into a lovely, rosy pink stain on the lips.
#04 Burgundy on the lips.
#04 Burgundy after a few hours. 
#05 Violet on the lips.
#05 Violet after a few hours.
What I love:

- Super cute packaging.
- Easy to apply.
- Does not feel heavy or sticky on the lips.
- Non-drying.
- Subtle, fruity scent.
- Decent wear time.
- Affordable price (retails for 10000 won each).

What you might not like:
- #05 Violet might be a bit too sheer for your liking,
because honestly, I was expecting it to be the darkest out of all five shades.
- Not available locally. (But you can purchase it online, here.)
Products Used:
FACE: Innisfree No Sebum Primer,
Tony Moly Luminous Goddess Aura BB Cream,
Benefit Erase Paste in Medium,
Peripera Snow White Pride Up! Pact.
EYES: Shiseido Eyebrow Pencil in Brown,
The Face Shop Ink Graffi Pen Liner,
Tony Moly Simply Style Slim Curling Mascara.
CHEEKS: Ever Bilena Cheek Blush in Raisin.
LIPS: Beyond Alice in Glow Oil Tint in Violet.


Spotlight | Etude House Moistfull Collagen Line.

When my husband learned about my obsession with all things collagen, he got me an all-too-perfect gift a few months back - the Moistfull Collagen Line from Etude House. And not just one box set, but two!
Collagen overload! :)
The bigger box set contains full-size bottles (180 mL) and sample size bottles (25 mL) of the Moistfull Collagen FreshenerEmulsion, Cream, and Sleeping Mask. The smaller box set contains travel size bottles (50 mL) of the Freshener and Emulsion, and a full-size tub (75 mL) of the Cream. Both boxes contain 20 mL tubes of the Oh Happy Day Collagen Hand Cream.

I reckon the smaller gift box is free, because you know how generous these Korean cosmetics brands are with freebies and samples, especially if you're buying them from shops at Myeongdong.
Moistfull Collagen Skin Care Gift Box.
Now here's a rundown of the products. 
Moistfull Collagen Facial Freshener.
The Moistfull Collagen Facial Freshener is a mild, alcohol-free toner that gently removes makeup residue, oil, and grime that cleanser may leave behind. You apply this after cleansing, massaging onto your face from center out.
Gel-like texture.
Made with baobab tree extract and marine collagen, this toner keeps the skin hydrated without the tight, uncomfortable feel. It has a unique, gel-like texture that absorbs fast and doesn't feel heavy on the skin. It doesn't sting, and its light, fresh scent is oh-so-wonderful.
Moistfull Collagen Emulsion.
A light and hydrating moisturizer, the Moistfull Collagen Emulsion gives the skin penetrating moisture to make it look firm and healthy. This product also increases skin elasticity and reduces the appearance of fine lines.
Milky texture.
The emulsion has a thin, milky texture which absorbs moderately fast on the skin. It's gently moisturizing and does not feel heavy on the skin, which makes it perfect for day time wear - even on hot summer days like today.
Moistfull Collagen Cream.
On the other hand, the Moistfull Collagen Cream is a rich, highly concentrated moisturizer that penetrates deep into the skin to hydrate, firm, and improve its dermal structure.
It comes in a tub, sans the spatula.
Unlike the emulsion, this one has a thicker, gel-like texture. It takes a tad longer to absorb, but goes on smoothly and feels light on the skin. 
Thicker, gel-like texture. 
This is actually my favorite product in the entire line, as it gives my skin that nice, bouncy texture. I usually slather this on at night before I go to bed, and I love how I wake up with super soft and smooth skin the morning after.
Swatched on the skin.
These three products have been part of my skincare regimen for the past eight months, and I love how the Moistfull Collagen line did (and still does) wonders for my skin. I can now actually leave the house bare-faced as my skin looks healthier than ever, complete with that dewy glow. 
Bare-faced. :)
Despite having sensitive skin, I have not had issues with these products since I started using it. Otherwise, I would have not bought the 10th Anniversary Edition of the Moistfull Collagen Cream (it comes in a pink tub) when I went to Korea last December. I paid 15000 won for it, which is around $13 or Php 600 when converted. The set above (as in both boxes) is actually cheaper, as my husband paid only 33000 won (around $28 or Php 1300) for it.

Oh, and in case you're wondering why I did not include the Sleeping Mask in the review, I gave it to a friend as a gift. I'm still pretty much stuck with my all-time favorite sleeping pack, you know, the one from Laneige. :)